The next crack at Michael Bisping’s UFC middleweight title will not go to interim champion Robert Whittaker. It will not go to top contender Yoel Romero, or former champion Luke Rockhold. It will not go to Chris Weidman or Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Instead, it will go to Georges St-Pierre, a welterweight great who has not fought since 2013 and has never competed at middleweight.
Needless to say, news of St-Pierre’s title shot was no exactly well-received. Luckily, St-Pierre revealed on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that, if he beats Bisping, he is contractually obligated to defend the middleweight title, rather than chase a money fight in another division. This means that order should return to the middleweight division soon after this Bisping vs. St-Pierre fight.
Here’s what Georges St-Pierre had to say:
“I have to defend my title. It’s written in my contract that I have to defend my title if I win, and also I think it’s [Robert] Whittaker that’s going to be the other guy that has the fight. When I beat Bisping, he’s going to be the guy that I’m going to fight next. Unless something happens, and it’s the case very often, things happen. You never know in advance. But if you follow the logic, that’s what the UFC told me, that’s what they signed me for.”
“[Defending the title] wasn’t my initial plan but I understand the UFC’s point of view,” he continued. “They want to protect their title. They don’t want people to jump and delay the defense of their title because there are a lot of people waiting. And I understand that, I’m a fighter myself. I understand that. I don’t want to make people wait. This year has been very unfortunate. The 185-pound title has not been defended so far. I’ll be the first one to fight Bisping for the title this year. It’s been a long time and I understand why people are angry.”
Do you think Georges St-Pierre will capture middleweight gold?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 8/14/2017.